Darren Elias tied a record and became the fifth player with three World Poker Tour titles after he won WPT Fallsview Poker Classic CA$5,000 Main Event on Friday for $335,436, topping a field of 489 runners.
Elias joined Chino Rheem, Anthony Zinno, Carlos Mortensen and Gus Hansen in the exclusive club. His other titles both came in 2014, when he won WPT Borgata Championship for $843,744 and WPT St. Maarten for $127,680.
Official Final Table Results
The single reentry event paid out 64 places. Luc Greenwood, Ben Wilinofsky, Curt Kohlberg, Blake Bohn, Aaron Massey, DJ Mackinnon and Connor Drinan were some of the players busting out in the money on the way to the final day of the event.
Once there, Elias started in the middle of the pack of 22 players but managed to navigate to the unofficial final table after he won a key flip for about a third of his stack, according to the live updates. He then picked up aces against Chrishan Sivasundaram, who had tens and didn't improve.
That double with 10 left gave Elias a solid stack around 50 big blinds, but it was David Eldridge dominating much of the proceedings up to the official final table. He was fortunate enough to win with kings against the aces of two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Kristen Bicknell and scored a few eliminations, including taking the remainder of Bicknell's chips to bust her in seventh. When the official final table started, Eldridge had about 5.2 million, while nearest competitor Andrew Chen had 2.8 million at 40,000/80,000/10,000.
Elias was a favorite to bust in sixth after he jammed nines for about 20 big blinds over Chen's open just 10 hands into the final table and the Canadian called with queens. A nine-high flop saved Elias and enabled him to get rolling as he and Eldridge put distance between themselves and their remaining opponents.
Instead, Abdull Hassan ran queens into the of Jean-Christophe Feirrera and lost the race when a king flopped to go out sixth.
Just a few hands later, German Manig Loeser shoved eight big blinds under the gun with and Eldridge looked him up with fours. The board ran out dead for both players and the fours held up.
Chen was nursing a handful of big blinds after bluffing off a chunk to Elias and began desperately jamming to try to get his head back above water. Even a couple of doubles didn't keep him afloat long and the end came on hand #66 when his didn't improve against Elias' .
Ferreira was the last obstacle between what looked like an inevitable heads-up match between Eldridge and Elias. He got his chips in good with on a flop, but Elias ran him down with by making a flush on the river.
Elias had a slight lead heading to heads-up, but both players were more than 55 big blinds deep as the levels moved to 30 minutes. A match that looked like it might take a bit was over in just three hands, though.
The key hand happened right away, as Eldridge raised to 1 million at 60,000/120,000/20,000 and Elias called. On the , flop, Elias checked and Eldridge bet 1 million. Elias made it 2 million and Eldridge called. He fired 3 million more on the and then jammed on the river. Eldridge folded and had a handful of big blinds left. They were gone two hands later to give Elias the history-making third WPT trophy.
Photo courtesy of WPT